“For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord.” (Ps. 117:2)
From my book The Christian Church in the Last Days
Assigning absolute authority to scholarly unbelief in interpreting the Bible, based solely upon academic PhD credentials, is like assigning spiritual credibility to the Pharisees and scribes immediately after instigating the crucifixion of Jesus. In John 8:43 Jesus said: “Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word.” In John 10:25-27 Jesus said: “I told you, and ye believed not; the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
The Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and lawyers in first century Jerusalem saw the miracles and heard the teaching of Jesus, but they were blind and deaf as to the nature of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and promised Messiah. In popular speech, they failed to connect all of the dots. In the language of modern social science, they failed to account for all of the data…data that was taking place right before their eyes. They forfeited their authority and credibility to speak on spiritual matters when their supposed “faith” in God was openly exposed through the cross of Jesus Christ to be nothing more than white-washed, hypocritical unbelief (Matthew 23:27).
The commendable goal of modern scientific investigation was to scrub away superstition, myth, folklore, magic, and error from our understanding of the causes behind the workings of our natural world. This approach, upon completion, can leave in place a supernatural, invisible Creator God who is transcendent above yet still active in our natural world. The search for purely naturalistic explanations behind the phenomenon of our physical world does not lead directly to the extreme philosophy that all such phenomenon must be understood only through the lens of naturalistic causes. Scientific investigation utilizing the experimental methods of empirical research into the workings of the natural world does not and never has required the prerequisite of an accompanying, radically exclusive materialistic philosophy.
The notion that one-time, non-repeating, supernatural events are not accessible to repetitive experimental testing is acknowledged by everyone. The extension of this reality that is unjustified is the suggestion that the philosophy of naturalism is indispensable as a sort of protective secular shell around the empirical scientific method, to ward off supernaturalism. This has been the subject of intense, rational, and balanced debate for centuries.
One of the potential worldview overturning ironies of the last few decades of the twentieth century is that after 450 years of scientific research into our natural world, science is coming full-circle in identifying a growing body of hard empirical evidence for the existence of inexplicably ordered, complex information, well beyond the reach of chance as a reasonable explanation. The ancient but scientifically difficult to prove gut-feeling sense of intelligent design observed in our world, is now being supported by a growing body of empirical evidence as the best explanation for the causation behind natural phenomenon. The scale is slowly beginning to tip in favor of exposing that the elaborate theories currently hypothesized to explain away the obvious appearance of design in our natural world, are more irrational in terms of empirical science than the opposing idea of the existence of a supernatural Creator.
The “god-of-the-gaps” notion that the jigsaw puzzle pieces of scientific investigation into the workings of the natural world, replacing blank unknowns with verifiably empirical facts, would reveal a godless naturalistic world is turning out to be false. The portrait of the nearly completed picture, after enough of the puzzle pieces are fit into place, reveals an intelligent designer remarkably similar to human beings having the innate intellectual and artistic capacity to imagine and to create.
The ability to get far enough outside of ourselves and thus contemplate a subject like the study of the history of science reveals an autonomous transcendent quality separate from nature itself. We do not see the same high quality of analytical contemplation anywhere else in the natural world. The narrow range of innate instincts in the natural world is not the same as the elevated human ability to freely analyze the reasons explaining the rise of the modern Scientific Revolution and the culture-shaping “doctrine of progress,” for example. There is a large gap between humans and the rest of the living world that is discontinuous and unbridgeable by incrementally gradual, small steps, in this area of intellectual reasoning.
The scientific pursuit…the ability to comprehend the workings of an orderly and intelligible universe, is itself an indirectly subtle refutation of the notion that everything derives from purely naturalistic causes produced through blind chance. How could purely naturalistic causes produce people who have the ability to get far enough outside of nature to conduct detached, analytical investigations looking back into the workings of nature? The independent feature of our cognitive powers is a real-world test-tube demonstration of our transcendence above and apart from nature.